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Is This L28ET-Powered Datsun The 240Z Of Your Dreams?

Does it get any more beautiful than a clean 240Z? I don’t think so and a lot of other enthusiasts must agree because these classic Japanese sports cars have exploded in value. With added value comes greater financial investment spawning some gorgeous builds. Clean Datsun 240Zs will soon be out of reach for the average collector. Today we are part of the rising action of these beloved Japanese classics, and part of the early phase of the growing Japanese collector car market. The upper limits of this market are being tested with full builds like this example listed on Bring A Trailer.

The classic lines and massive engine bay make the 240Z the perfect candidate for a build. The 1970s Japanese styling with fender mirrors and perfect coupe portions allows the 240Z to transcend time. While the engine bay can fit any engine you can afford. The 240Z brought Japanese performance cars to America and forged a legacy that’s still going strong today. The 240Z proved that Japanese cars were more than cheap econoboxes. Today collectors continue to love these Japanese sports car that took America by storm.

The build in question features period correct mods that add to the 240Zs heritage. Instead of using an LS engine and Tremec gearbox like every other car build, the owner kept it in the Nissan family. They used the L28ET inline-six from the 280ZX Turbo which, produces 180 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 203 lb·ft of torque at 2800 rpm stock. The owner made sure to increase power adding a Garrett turbo and host of supporting upgrades to create a more powerful and reliable engine. This engine looks at home in the 240Z and keeps with the Nissan heritage without overpowering the chassis.

To support this new engine there’s a 5-speed manual transmission from a 280ZX Turbo and a short shifter with an R200 differential with a gearing ratio of 3.7:1. Luckily the entire suspension has been redone. All the bushing were replaced with Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings keeping this 44-year-old car feeling young. A full set of Datsun Spirit Coilovers ensures the chassis can handle this new found drivetrain. Further fine tuning is covered by new MSA camber eccentrics control arms and a full set of MSA 1” sway bars. 

The interior is pure. A set of F1 bucket seats cradles you while a set of gauges supplies you with crucial engine information. The interior is stripped of anything unnecessary keeping distractions to a minimum. It’s just you, your passenger, and 44 years of Nissan heritage. The Momo steering wheel lacks buttons and simply changes the car’s direction, how refreshing. The owner alsoadded a boost gauge so you can quantify the air you’re forcing your engine to burn but everything else remains relatively stock.

Can you believe this car is 44 years old? The 240Z’s design still looks modern today and aged better than Jennifer Aniston. With some modern drive train components and a redone interior, a 240Z build is the perfect classic car. It captures the moment while remaining fairly modern. This timeless Japanese sports car will only become harder and more expensive to own. Now’s the time to cash in.

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About Chris Okula - Contributor

Chris was raised on Top Gear and automotive magazines, which still dominate most of his free time today (he is not a fan of the new TopGear). After he graduated from Desales University, Chris started his career in the pharmaceutical industry, but missed writing which lead him to the creation of his own automotive blog. This blog lead him to work with Road & Track and now as a contributor here at Shifting Lanes. In his free time, Chris is constantly on the popular automotive auction site, Bring a Trailer, as well as Craigslist looking for ways to destroy his savings account and skip student loan payments.

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